Orla Cotter wins overall award 2019-02-07 19:57:00

Before an appreciate and packed attendance Cork Camogie star Orla Cotter was named the overall winner of the 96FM/C103 GAA Sports Star of the year at the Gala Banquet in the Rochestown Park Hotel. 

The St Catherine’s player received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage a clear indication of the popularity of this most unassuming but very talented player. 

Orla was the September winner on the back of Cork retaining their All-Ireland senior Camogie title defeating old rivals Kilkenny, in dramatic fashion. 

The sides were level, time almost up, Cork awarded a free under the Hogan Stand, and despite the pressure Orla nailed it and the O’Duffy Cup was Leeside bound. 

On accepting the accolade, she said “I am in shock given the depth of talent here in the room this evening, and I am delighted to be chosen and it reflects where Cork Camogie stands right now.” 

As for the 3 in a row, “well we are back in training and it would be brilliant to achieve it and we will certainly give it our best shot.” 

It’s the 2nd year in a row that Camogie have taken the top award with Aoife Murray last year’s recipient. 

2 other awards were presented at the Banquet. 

The Kieran O’Driscoll Youth Award, was presented to Cork and Charleville star Darragh Fitzgibbon. 

Darragh was acknowledged for his outstanding displays for both club and county. 

The classy star won Munster medals at senior and under 21 level, an All-Star award and capped an amazing year as Charleville were crowned County and Munster Intermediate Champions and in a couple of weeks time they will play in the All-Ireland Final in Croke Park. 

Kieran Mc Geary 96FM/C103 presented Darragh with his award, and the young hurler was delighted to be chosen. 

“It’s been a fabulous few months and it is great to be looking forward to Croke Park with the club and hopefully we can claim the title and then look forward to the senior C’ship.” 

As for Cork, “well we were disappointed at losing to Limerick but we will go again when the C’ship comes around in a few months time.”  

The Distinguished Career Award recipient was former Cork All-Ireland winning football captain Dinny Allen, who in a glittering career won every major honour in the game including 8 County, 6 Munster and 4 All-Ireland Club medals with Nemo Rangers. 

Ironically his 1st Munster medal was with the hurlers in 1975, and Dinny remarked, “Nemo had a very good 10 year spell in hurling including our biggest win beating Glen Rovers in the senior C’ship in 1974, but we slipped back and then football took over completely.” 

Without doubt the win over Mayo in the 1989 All-Ireland Final was the highlight and it was also his last game with Cork and he said “it was good to go at my own choosing and I enjoyed every minute of it.” 

Dinny missed out in 1973 as he was at the time winning an FAI Cup medal with Cork Hibs and no regret’s “none at all I always wanted to try soccer and that’s the way it fell, but it all worked out in the end.” 

Dinny became the 3rd Nemo man to win this award following his good friends and club mates Brian Murphy and Billy Morgan. 

Sean Lehane brother of the late Donal, presented Dinny with his award. 

Joseph Blake PRO Cork County Board addressed the gathering and paid tribute to all involved in particular 96FM/C103 whose unrivalled coverage of our games is the envy of other counties, while the Rochestown Park Hotel and the Lehane Family are also to be congratulated on their involvement and their ongoing support of Cork GAA. 

Joseph also congratulated all the monthly winners and said their popularity is reflected in that all arms of our games are recognised. 

This was the 15th year of the awards and already planning and preparation is underway for the 2019 awards. 

The attendance included Officers of Camogie and Ladies Football Boards, Michael O’Mahony Rebel Og, County Board Officers Des Cullinane, Richard Murphy and Ronan Dwane, while also present was former GAA President Christy Cooney.  

The staff and management of the Rochestown Park Hotel especially Tom Tobin and Colm Bolger, ensured that everything ran smoothly and their professional approach to every aspect of the event was as always top class. 

Photos from the night can be found here 

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